From the Archive: A Happy New Year!

An Edwardian new year's card from an Archive album. The Archive has numerous beautiful examples of greetings cards, many of them pasted into albums by Victorian and Edwardian children. Historically, the sending of good wishes for a coming year probably represents the oldest of such greetings, dating back to the ancient Chinese. However, it was not until mechanised (and therefore cheap) colour printing took off in the mid nineteenth century that the…

Continue ReadingFrom the Archive: A Happy New Year!

From the Archive : The Ice Merchant’s Bill

Ice cubes chinking in a festive glass, ice cream, frozen desserts - what would we do without ice? More to the point, what did people do in the days before every kitchen was equipped with a freezer? Well, as document .4438.3 shows us, in the nineteenth century supplies could be bought from an ice merchant. Where he obtained the ice is an interesting story. The bill in the photograph is for three…

Continue ReadingFrom the Archive : The Ice Merchant’s Bill

Spotlight on Watercolours

Thanks to an enquiry from The Watercolour World early this year, the benefit of up to date scanning technology and a huge volunteer effort, sketches and watercolours of Cotesbach and by Cotesbach family are now available for viewing online at This marvellous website is a window on the world before colour photography, making our collection viewable alongside others without compromising its care and management and enlivening even the most elaborate description…

Continue ReadingSpotlight on Watercolours

The Last Straw: gripping novel with Cotesbach roots

Looking for a good read over Christmas? Former Trustee and CET volunteer Paula Jeffery, who originally came to Cotesbach in search of her Rainbow ancestors, has published her first novel about one of them: Jabez. His father John was born in Cotesbach in 1785, into a family whose forebears had been farming here for generations; John and Ruth moved to Coventry when he became a lawyer’s clerk, but his son got entangled…

Continue ReadingThe Last Straw: gripping novel with Cotesbach roots

From the archive: Wild Swimming

Have you, over this ‘staycation’ summer, had the opportunity to join the estimated four million of us who enjoy ‘wild swimming’? Wild swimming, offering as it does an antidote to the strictures and stresses of lockdown, reportedly* saw a 287% increase in popularity over the first months of the pandemic. Yet the habit of swimming in natural settings is hardly new and for most of history, indeed, ‘wild’ swimming was the only…

Continue ReadingFrom the archive: Wild Swimming

From the archive: A new lease of life.

Work in progress, the beginnings of our new mosaic. May 2021. Minton tiles from the conservatory at the Hall, now incorporated into the mosaic. The new CET mosaic has many resonances in our Archive. We have receipts, invoices and inventories concerning domestic goods such as china dating back to the eighteenth century. One element of the design, the Minton tiles from the conservatory at the Hall, can be related precisely to Archive…

Continue ReadingFrom the archive: A new lease of life.

Mosaic Artist Wanted!

We are seeking to commission an artist to create a mosaic on our outside space using archaeological artefacts found here! Please read our tender document for more information and do get in touch if you have any questions. Mosaic Artist TenderDownload

Continue ReadingMosaic Artist Wanted!

Pasta shortage? Try making your own!

Thank you to Sam Rouse of Cork & Fork for allowing us to share his recipe. Fresh homemade pasta Ingredients 6 large free-range eggs 600 g Tipo '00' flour Method Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour,…

Continue ReadingPasta shortage? Try making your own!

CET – temporary suspension of talks, classes and events.

It will come as no surprise that we are postponing all our talks, events and classes. We will continue to follow Government guidelines and monitor the situation. If you have purchased a ticket to one of our upcoming classes then we hope that we will be able to reschedule these for later in the year, you will receive an e-mail via Eventbrite letting you know that the class is postponed and you…

Continue ReadingCET – temporary suspension of talks, classes and events.